Ms. Funke Opeke, is founder and CEO of MainOne, formerly Main One Cable Company. MainOne is West Africa’s leading communications services and network solutions provider that built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access 7,000 kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine, a $240-million-dollar project that was completed in time and on budget in 2010. MainOne also built West Africa’s largest Tier III Data Center, MDX-i’s Lekki Data Center, a $40 million investment with a capacity for 600 racks. Ms. Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive who returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN after a twenty-year career in the United States. Prior to her return, she was the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division. Subsequent to MTN, Ms. Opeke advised Transcorp on the acquisition of NITEL and briefly served as the interim Chief Operating Officer, post-acquisition of NITEL. She obtained a first degree in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York.
In this session, we will hear from experts across sectors to posit how we can take an interdisciplinary approach to accelerating Africa’s development in the next decade and beyond. Grounded in an understanding of the largest opportunity gaps, this session will focus on innovative solutions for inclusive growth. In addition to looking at on-the-ground enablers, such as technology, education, and public-private partnerships, we will focus on how the diaspora can support Africa’s growth journey.
Africa is in the midst of a digital revolution: approximately 473 million Africans are online, and an additional 300 million will likely join them by 2025. Average download speeds in Africa doubled between 2015 and 2019, while data costs halved. Underpinning this growth is the installation of digital infrastructure (fiber optics, data centers, and more) serving the continent. In this panel, we will hear from the folks building that infrastructure. We will understand the history, opportunities, and challenges in this sector.